By Jon Sandys
Sun 18th Oct 2015
Despite a near-universal love for the Back to the Future movies, that sadly doesn't mean they're 100% perfect. And I don't just mean their inaccurate view of 2015 - still no hoverboard, but we do have smartphones. And while I don't have a fax machine in my toilet, I suppose I could if I wanted. I really don't want one. Anyway, in honour of finally catching up to Marty's arrival date, I thought it was time for a rundown of a few bloopers from the trilogy you might not have noticed before...
When Marty is being chased by the Libyans, a few times it cuts away to show the instrumentation in the car. The first time the odometer reads 33064.2 and the trip counter says 88.8; the second time it's goes back a little to 33061.8 and 86.4. A few seconds later we see it as he turns the corner, and it goes down again from 33,061.8 to 32,994.4, the trip counter has gone from 86.4 to 19. In fact it's a completely different set of instrumentation - the bottom of the needle's angled in some shots and flat in others.
When Marty is writing the letter to Doc before he goes into the future, the word "disaster" is the only word in the last line. Yet when Doc shows Marty the letter when it has been all taped up, "terrible disaster" is the last line. Also, the handwritring in each letter is different (i.e. Marty's signature). They are two different letters.
When Marty is standing over his father's bed in 1955 persuading him to date Lorraine, there is a hair-dryer in Marty's belt that seems to disappear between different frames (note the hair dryer's cord leading to Marty's right hand, as he holds it behind his back). Really obvious. [This scene was originally longer, including a part where Marty removed the hair dryer from his belt. Still a mistake, but there's the explanation.]
When Marty is in 1955, he is in shock and walking on the pavement when a car comes by. In the first shot when it comes towards him it has two speakers, on the second shot when it's moving away, it only has one. In the second shot of the car with only one speaker, the A-frame sign is also turned the other way.
When Marty's coming home at the beginning of the film, he's watching the discussion between his father and Biff who complains about the wrecked car and his reports. In the two shots which show Marty, there's a glass full of candies near to him. When Biff steps to the glass and lifts the lid, half of the candies are gone.
At the end of the famous court yard chase scene when Griff and gang crash through the courthouse windows, you can see in plain sight the reflection of cables and the mechanisms that held them in the air. [Corrected in 25th Anniversary edition.]
If you look very closely, after Marty flips on the little girl's hover board and is laying on his stomach, when he goes to get up you can see that he's wearing regular lace style tennis shoes and not the auto-lace high tops that Doc gives him as soon as they get to 2015. You may need to pause it to see them.
In the scene where the 1985 Jennifer is in her 2015 home and says "I get married in the Chapel-O-Love?" right before she picks up the picture note the Chapel-O-Love picture and frame on the bookcase behind her. After she picks it up and drops it leaving it on the floor she looks for a place to hide. Later on when the old Lorraine and George are in the living room, take another look at the picture on the bookcase; the Chapel picture is set back up. You could argue Lorraine would have had enough time to set it back up. But look at the Chapel picture; it's inserted in the frame upside down. You can tell by looking at the frame stand behind it. Meaning someone physically removed the picture and put it that way.
As Doc and Marty go to the soon-to-be Lyon Estates in 1955, the DeLorean hovers over the camera. Look at the roof. You can see 3-4 wires attached to the time machine.
In Biff's apartment in alternate 1985 while Biff and Lorraine are arguing he knocks her to the ground and both her shoes come off. After Biff punches Marty in the stomach it then switches again to show Lorraine's reaction. As it does this we see her on the floor but her shoes are back on her feet. She could have had enough time to put them back on possibly but it seems unlikely that she would have done so as she is laying in the same position as when she was knocked down.
When Marty returns to 1985, he goes to his house and gets in his Toyota pick-up. Look closely behind his head when he first gets in the truck, there is no driver-side head rest. But when he picks up Jennifer, when they pull up to the stop sign the head rest is there.
When the train is coming and is about to run over the DeLorean, the shadow of the train on the wall shows that it is only the locomotive. When the camera changes view, it is a train with freight carriages.
When Doc's about to send Marty back to 1885 from 1955, and Marty's dressed up...when Doc's walking back and forth loading up the car - look at the shadow from the building. You see it changes by several feet in a few seconds as the scene was obviously shot throughout the day.
While at the dance Marty is showing off at the shooting gallery. After shooting all the targets he twirls the gun and hands it back to the booth operator with the barrel in his left hand. Very the next frame shows the gun in his right hand.